The end of the quest for the purest form of the candy bar phone is near. And it's not coming from Cupertino.
Xiaomi has been chasing the idea of a phone that is 100 percent screen for a while now. It started with the Mi Mix 2 and followed with the Mi Mix 3. We may be looking at the Mi Mix 4 right now — which looks like the ultimate Apple iPhone.
This design — contained in a new Xiaomi patent published by the World Intellectual Property Office on February 5 and discovered by Lets Go Digital — truly accomplishes Jony Ive's decade-long dream, expressed in the video that introduced iPhone X: “For more than a decade, our intention has been to create an iPhone that is all display,” he begins, “a physical object that disappears into the experience.”
The iPhone X, with its notch eyesore, was not this Holy Grail. And the iPhone XS didn’t nail it either. But this Xiaomi patent represents the purest and highest expression of the design that Jony Ive himself created 12 years ago — it’s the final evolutionary state of the form factor that started with the original iPhone.
The device is all screen and absolutely zero bezels — a 100 percent screen-to-body ratio. Rounded corners, rounded edges that are all screen, no notch, no holes, no selfie cameras, no visible seams of any kind. There is zero forehead and zero chin.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 almost got to the point of display nirvana, with a 93.4 percent screen-to-body ratio screen mounted on a magnetic sliding back. So did the dual-screen Nubia X or the motorized slider Oppo Find X.
The recently announced Vivo Apex 2019 (see the video above) and the Meizu Zero also have similar screen-to-body ratios. But they add the idea that phones should have zero ports. This potential Mi Mix 4, however, follows the same idea and takes it to the absolute limit dreamed by Ive 12 years ago.
I always thought that it was going to be Apple who reached this point before everyone else. Looking at rumors for the iPhone 11, it doesn’t look like this will be the case.